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November 6, 2017

Seufferlein Sales Student Takes Home 3rd Place at the Liberty Mutual Southwest Sales Competition

CSU, Chico Southwest Sales Competition team: Georden Rodriguez, Ellen Falltrick, Max Dickstein, and Michael Bassetto

CSU, Chico Southwest Sales Competition team

On Thursday, October 12, four CSU, Chico students traveled to Houston, Texas, to represent the College of Business Seufferlein Sales Program (SSP). These four students were invited to compete in the Liberty Mutual Southwest Collegiate Sales Competition.

The team, consisting of Max Dickstein, Ellen Falltrick, Georden Rodriguez and Michael Bassetto, represented California for the first time, as this competition has primarily been hosted for schools solely from Texas and Arizona.

“Being able to represent Chico for the first time at this sales competition in Texas was an honor,” said Dickstein, a seasoned sales competitor and business administration major. “Thank you, University of Houston!”

After weeks of preparation with program advisor Brittany Fortune, coordinator Sheryl Maines and other contributors to SSP, the team felt ready to each deliver an unforgettable 20-minute sales pitch on Liberty Mutual home and auto insurance for a hypothetical buyer.

“These four students are fierce competitors,” said Fortune, a faculty member in the College of Business. “We are honored to have had this exclusive invitation extended to our talented students and are proud of their preparedness, contributions and outcome. The Seufferlein Sales Program takes great pride in the important role of instilling the training and confidence that our students need to feel ready for any high-pressure situation.”

This competition allowed the SSP team to apply sales techniques with a business-to-business scenario. The competition required sales teams to study the insurance industry, utilize the trust-based sales process and apply their training in an unpredictable, high-pressure and competitive environment; much like the corporate world outside of university boundaries. The SSP team was fortunate to receive additional aid with personalized coaching from Liberty Mutual sales representative John Rusk.

First-time sales competitor Rodriguez impressed the judges and found himself a top-four competitor by Friday afternoon. A final-four playoff was held to determine the final competitor and university placements. Rodriguez and the remaining three finalists competed in a final round of mock insurance sales meetings. These sales meetings were viewed live by judges, university coaches and the remaining students.

Based on the combined scores from round one and two, Rodriguez took third place out of 30 total competitors.

“Even in a competition in which I was judged on an individual basis, the importance of a team working toward the same goal was essential to success,” Rodriguez explained.

The experience was not only humbling but inspiring, said Bassetto, who was competing in his first-ever sales competition. He added that he looks forward to using what he learned, especially in future competitions.

Fortune agreed.

“Opportunities such as these provide the ultimate training ground for our students,” she said. “Sales competitions offer a safe place to our students to learn and grow while providing a platform for immediate feedback for their development. These students are also awarded based on performance with prize winnings, much like earning commission or bonuses in a professional sales environment.

The SSP sales team is preparing, along with 76 other students  within MKTG 473 for the mid-term State Farm sales competition. Based on final scores, the top sixteen will be selected to compete in the Sweet 16 Sales Challenge Competition, taking place on November 30 and December 1, 2017.

All team members agree that without the opportunities provided by SSP and the support of faculty and other organizations on campus, the sales team would not have been able to represent CSU, Chico in such a monumental way. 

The Seufferlein Sales Program wants to make you successful. Join our award-winning program which is becoming one of the country’s best.

Glenn Hall, Room 206

Ellen Falltrick
School of the Arts Publicity Office

College of Business